Can I use Structure Core with a drone?

We have seen some questions from developers and users wanting to use a Structure Core with drones.

Can I use a consumer drone with my Structure Core?

Yes, but you need to use a robust and powerful drone. Most consumer drones lack the ability to: 

  • 📦  Carry an additional payload
  • 🛠  Mount additional hardware 
  • 🔌  Support the power requirements of additional devices

What do I need to start flying with Structure Core?

We have seen custom-built drones integrated with the following setup:

  • Structure Core 
  • Nvidia Jetson Nano (running Linux)
  • Structure SDK (Cross-Platform) with ROS.

Your custom-drone configuration would need to consider the payload weight of all of the necessary hardware requirements. (ie Structure Core, Jetson Nano, Power Supplies etc.)

  • Structure Core with enclosure weighs 52.5 grams, full technical specifications can be found here
  • USB A/C cable weighs 29 grams, with the USB A → C adapter weighing an additional 7 grams.

Our Structure SDK Cross-Platform was not intended to be used as-is with a drone. Successful implementations require customization, and development to integrate Structure Core with a drone.

Beyond configuration, what other concerns should I be aware of?

☀️ Sunlight angle; likely you're flying in unobstructed areas where your drone might point directly into the sun. Structure Core can work in sunlight, but pointing sensors into the sun are likely to cause model concerns as it floods the IR sensor with UV light.

Can I autonomously fly a drone using the Structure Core and its depth data?

We recommend users are in full control of the drone flight path at all times.

Can I use a Structure Sensor (Mark II) or Structure Sensor (Original) with a drone?

No, both sensors were designed to work with iOS devices. We do not suggest attaching an iOS device with Structure Sensor to a drone.

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